Musical theory is not something new but it has been there for long. When piano learning and compositions were enjoying peak popularity during the 18th and 19th century, even then musical theory was taught to pianists and composers that enabled them to understand structure and operation of music. This in turn guides them in composing pieces of music with combination of different components and effects. Notations, letters, diagrams, chords and other symbols that a layman may not be able to understand, musical theory gives him complete knowledge of these and many other concepts in learning to play piano. A pianist should have complete knowledge of these symbols and signs in order to better understand, play or compose melodies, rhythm and tones with the use of piano.
Learning Musical Theory is Important:
Theory of music is important in order to have better hands on skills for playing piano, for composing music and for improvisation. Anyone who has a strong hold over theory would be able to learn to play an instrument quicker than a person with no knowledge of theory. There are a several reasons and benefits that one can gain from learning musical theory and we have summarized some important aspects here:
You Begin to Learn Quicker!
As you begin to gain knowledge of musical theory, with time you will realize that the random pieces of notes that you will come across would not only appear just as some random notes but you will begin to witness them in certain patterns of chords and scales. Notes will no more be splattered in front of you but rather you will begin to remember them in your head as a certain series. As a beginner in young age learning, you will be doing basic theory assignments including naming notes and dynamics. This could be done in the form of assignments or games such as flash cards. You will be able to retain these lessons and it will help you in reading musical notes which is not possible if you don’t have knowledge of theory.
You Become a Good Team Player for your Band!
If for instance you become part of a band playing at your school or at a church in your locality or for any other performance, knowledge of musical theory will make you a better team player. If everyone in the band would know their musical theory, their performance will be much improved as they will be able to understand musical notes well and will be able to stay within the same page and key.
It will enhance your skills for Critical Listening!
Hearing music is no magic whereas critical listening is. Learning musical theory will enhance your skill for critically listening towards music and you will be able to better understand and speak about what you hear. A musical performance with a piano would include different major and minor scales, nuances, melodies and other certain aspects that only a knowledgeable person will be able to identify. When you get to identify and critically speak about music, you are on your way to become an expert.
It will help in understanding and playing Difficult Pieces!
We do not say that learning musical theory would make difficult pieces easy to play but they will be definitely easier for you to understand and thus would become a little simpler for you to play over piano.
You can compose your Own Music!
If your ultimate aim is to become a piano music composer, you certainly would not be able to become a pro at it without learning your musical theory. Music is truly an art. It is all about expressing your feelings. Adding expression and your thoughts to music would need you to write them down and writing without knowledge of notes is not possible. So if you truly want to share your thoughts and expression in the form of music with others, you will be able to do it properly with knowledge of notes, tempos, rhythms, and dynamics; in a nutshell musical theory.
It would make your Musical Journey more Enjoyable!
Musical theory makes your understand how music operates and having a clear understanding of how something works enables you to make the most out of it. Thus musical theory gives you a complete insight on how you can enjoy piano by trying your hands on different scales, notes, melodies and rhythms played over it.
Without Musical Theory!
- You would not be able to read and understand musical sheets and thus would not be able to play. Without musical theory, you would need to listen to a piece in order to figure out notes played.
- Without theory, you may be able to play your own music but would not be able to share your composition with others.
It is true that you can learn to play piano by ear but you should face it that better understanding and professional learning needs you to have both understanding of musical theory as well as skill of learning to play piano by ear. It is a fact that for beginners’ especially young children and adults who are pretty busy; it may be a little boring and frustrating to spend time and sit down for theoretical study of music but believe me it is doing to be all worth it. Though it is time taking and you can learn all of it in a day but it will open up so much potential within yourself that you will appreciate this learning over long run. Not only it would help you in becoming better at playing piano but at a later stage when you will think of learning any other instrument or would like to pursue something else in musical journey, it would prove to be an added advantage for you at that stage.